The 4Runner is one of the oldest SUVs around, so it’s no surprise that the 2014 Toyota 4Runner looks so decidedly old-school, sporting “truckish” features like a boxy shape and large proportions. On top of that, it provides a powerful yet admittedly hungry 4.0-litre V6 engine, which has excellent towing capabilities and an impressive array of options.
The 2014 Toyota 4Runner is the true-blue SUV that once dominated the dirt and paved roads, while the other SUVs could only hope to reach its level of popularity. Today, the 4Runner is still no doubt impressive, but it has been surpassed by crossovers like Toyota’s Venza and RAV4. Still, this car offers excellent safety standards and a plethora of special features. Its 4.0-litre engine and interior design are not too bad either, but they are not 4Runner’s finest aspects.
The 4Runner’s body remains as rugged and truck-like as ever since that’s what it’s been from the start to some degree. The original version of the SUV was basically a spin-off from truck-based hardware, but endowed with a wagon-like body. As such, its high beltline, large proportions and boxy shape are all a tribute to that original design. When it comes to lower-tier trims, Toyota has decided to make things even more “rugged and aggressive” by giving the front fascia large boomerang-shaped indentations below its slightly slanted headlights. If you don’t like this design, you can get the Limited edition model, which doesn’t carry any of these changes. So, yes, it’s very much comparable to the macho cars, like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler.
On the inside, things haven’t changed too much either. It’s still as spacious and comfortable as before, featuring easily accessible controls and layout. The cabin is not in any shape or form badly-designed, but it’s not particularly good-looking or innovative either. In other words, it fulfills its purpose but doesn’t do much else.
You will, however, be impressed by the amount of special features on offer here – even in the base SR5 models, which include cruise control; a rearview camera; air conditioning; and power windows, locks and mirrors. The top trim Limited model comes with 15-speaker JBL premium sound, HD Radio with iTunes tagging and navigation. All trims get satellite radio, a USB port, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth audio streaming and smartphone connections to Bing, Pandora and other apps. And if that’s not enough, Toyota also provides options like sonar-based rear parking sensors and a Safety Connect telematics system.
Under the hood, there’s a fairly decent 4.0-litre V6 engine, which can pump out 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. As if to make up for the absence of engine choices, Toyota provides a selection of three drivetrains: two-wheel drive in the SR5 and Limited trims, part-time four-wheel-drive for the SR5 and Trail models and full-time four-wheel-drive for the Limited option. The engine provides a hefty amount of power and excellent towing capability, so it definitely acts like a truck in this department. The only flaw in the powertrain department is poor fuel economy. The two-wheel-drive models carry the combined EPA rating of 12.4 litres per 100 kilometres, while the four-wheel-drive variants are rated at 13.1 litres per 100 kilometres combined.
The Toyota 4Runner’s true strength lies in its safety features, which are both plentiful and reliable. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded the SUV with top “good” ratings in frontal, side and rear impact tests. The 4Runner has also scored four out of five stars in federal tests, earning four stars for frontal impact and five stars for side impact tests. Some of the features that you’ll find onboard include Hill-start Assist Control, Downhill Assist Control, anti-lock brakes and stability control.
The 2014 Toyota 4Runner is as much an SUV as any other, so don’t dismiss it simply because it’s no longer as popular as it used be. This truck still has many benefits, which either match or trump whatever you’ll find in other trucks.
|Trim / Style||MSRP||Est. Monthly Payment||Average Price||Invoice Price|
|SR5 V6||$37,900||Get Local Price||Get Invoice Price|
|Number of Doors||5|
|Drive Train||4X4 Wheel Drive|
|Power and Performance:|
The 2014 Toyota 4Runner comes standard with a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is also standard. The SR5 and Limited models are available with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, while the Trail is 4WD only.
Four-wheel-drive SR5 models have a part-time four-wheel-drive system with a low-range transfer case, while the Limited uses a full-time 4WD system with low-range gearing and an independently lockable center differential. The Trail model comes standard with the part-time 4WD system and also includes a locking rear differential, crawl control (for use in low range) and selectable electronic terrain-sensitive systems. Properly equipped, the 4Runner is rated to tow up to 4,700 pounds.
In Edmunds instrumented testing, a rear-drive 4Runner SR5 accelerated from a standstill to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds (8.2 seconds for a four-wheel-drive Trail model), which is about average among competing SUVs. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 19 mpg combined (17 mpg city/22 mpg highway) for rear-wheel-drive models and 18 mpg combined (17 city/21 highway) for four-wheel-drive 4Runners (regardless of which 4WD your vehicle has) -- slightly below average for a midsize, off-road-oriented SUV with a gas-powered six-cylinder engine.
Originally appeared on Edmunds.
|Interiors and Special Features:|
Although still rather simple, the 2014 4Runner's cabin is roomy and versatile. The Toyota's large dials and buttons for everything from the radio to low-range gearing are a cinch to use. The large center console has an available 120V AC power outlet, helpful for charging accessories. The power-adjustable front seats are comfortable and supportive. In back, a 40/20/40 split seat offers numerous cargo/seating configurations and reclines. For larger families, 7-passenger seating is available in SR5 and Limited trims, though the small third row is best suited for children. Folding the rear seats yields a flat floor and nearly 90 cubic feet of cargo space.
Originally appeared on Kelley Blue Book.
The Toyota 4Runner has earned fairly good crash-test scores in the past, and while this year's results haven't been generated, it's safe to say they'll carry over since no major structural changes have taken place.
A body-on-frame layout coupled with a tall-wagon body can be a challenge for safety engineers. Still, the Toyota 4Runner has earned top 'good' ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in frontal, side, and rear impact. The only letdown has been its only 'acceptable' rating for roof strength (related to rollover). And in federal NCAP testing, the 4Runner has earned four (out of five) stars overall, including four stars for frontal impact and five stars for side impact.
All 4Runners come with a passel of safety features plus a toolkit of electronic aids that should make some off-road situations a bit safer. Each 4 Runner has eight standard airbags, including front side bags, side-curtain bags for the second and third rows, and front knee bags for the driver and passenger. Safety Connect, a button-activated, concierge-style system that's similar to General Motors' OnStar, is available.
In addition to the requisite electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes, they also get Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) for safe uphill starts, plus Downhill Assist Control (on 4WD models), to help maintain a slow, steady speed down steep slopes. For parking assistance (or perhaps spotting when off-roading), some also include a small screen built into the rearview mirror. Some form of rearview camera is standard on all models, while rear parking sensors are an option on some models.
Originally appeared on The Car Connection.
Updated on March 26, 2013
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